Thursday, November 10, 2011

Real Sight Can Also Be 20/20

"This is a tragedy," Paterno said. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

Maybe Joe Paterno, the coach with the most wins in the collegiate football universe, needs to get his glasses checked. In 2002, he had the benefit of "real sight" when he learned that the coach who had high hopes of taking over as head coach was  caught raping a young boy. He reported the "alleged" abuse to athletic director  Tim Curley and a vice president Gary Schultz. After that, I guess the buck changed hands and the responsibility of handling a sexual predator was shifted. Not to police, just off campus. Jerry Sandusky - accused of violating the body of a young boy - was allowed to work offsite with boys. Failure to protect children on so many, SO FREAKING MANY, levels.

And for the next several years, Jerry Sandusky "allegedly" sexually assaulted multiple children.

Jerry Sandusky was not turned over to authorities. He was not immediately suspended until the resolution of any criminal charges. His victims did not receive immediate psychological care or an opportunity at justice through the court system. Sandusky "retired" while maintaining an office on campus and continuing with his off-campus charity in which he could easily access vulnerable boys.

Joe Paterno and company let a sexual predator go. They permitted the future violation of an unknown number of children. And they did nothing.

So to all those fans who are pissed off that Joe Paterno has been fired - shame, shame, shame. Shame on you for supporting someone who allowed a man get away with sexual crimes against children. Shame on you for believing that just because one man is "good", that he wins a lot at football, that that somehow precludes him from being held accountable - in some small way - for turning his back on hopeful children, for letting loose a sexual predator. For choosing a man who preyed upon innocence and received a hall pass from Paterno and Penn State athletics. For picking an adult man who should have known better and done right over children who cannot themselves be advocates, who need us adults to be the ones to speak up and out.

My prayers and thoughts are with the real victims. You know, the ones who were sexually assaulted by a man they trusted and violated by a system they admired. Who never felt they could tell the truth. Who will undoubtedly become victims again against a public and system which somehow believes winning football is more important than stopping child molesters.

-One pissed off, upset football fan (who thinks convicted felons or alleged rapists should also not be able to play professionally, call me crazy).

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